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March 15, 2014updated Dec 20, 2023

Park Avenue Makeover

By Chris Boyle

the regency bar2You just had a milestone birthday a couple years ago. You hit the big Five Oh. Financially you’re doing fabulously.  You don’t feel your age, and while you don’t look your age, you want to get a bit younger, hipper. 

Of course you don’t want to look silly. You want to be comfortable with your age, but ready for some fun as well. You’re not going to ride a unicycle at Burning Man in pink tights.  Or if you do, you won’t post pictures on Facebook. When you call the “city that never sleeps” home you do have to be at least open to possibilities.  Plus you had a really big date at the beginning of February so you needed to look great.

For the Loews Regency New York, which reopened in January, after $100 million and 54 weeks of surgery the results are stunning. Current, classical and comfortable – a much younger look, you could now be a cover model for GQ in a perfectly tailored Armani suit.

Timing is everything, and in addition to getting it right, you had to be ready when New York hosted the Super Bowl.  After all Loews Hotels & Resorts Chairman Jonathan Tisch and his family are co-owners of the Giants football team, host for the big game.

While there is still some work to be done – six signature suites are in the works as is a full gym and spa, on Friday I had a chance to get a first hand look after participating in an Editor’s panel hosted by travel trade magazine Travel Weekly.

Yes, the titans of the universe who put the hotel on the map in the Seventies for the famed Power Breakfast (The Regency Bar & Grill is the restaurant’s new name) can still be comfortable each morning before they exit to divide and conquer the World.

At the same time, the grey hairs have been covered.  The lobby is stunning and welcoming with 24-feet high ceilings. It is luxury, but in a way the hotel is now a hip and sexy place to meet for a drink at the bar, or in some clusters of private seating off to the side.  I’ll give credit to whoever actually tested the chairs and couches before ordering them.  Unlike too many design hotels where comfort takes a back seat to aesthetics, the various seats and couches I tried at were well suited bodies of any age.

Our roundtable session over a gourmet lunch was in Terrace Suite 1520 (there are three other Terrace Suites and a total of 58 suites).  There was a lovely marble entry, a bar with four stools and kitchen area behind. A nearly 400 square foot terrace opens off the bedroom.  I also looked at the two-bedroom Park Avenue Suites.  Design has a residential feel, and I expect these suites will be popular for long term stays.  In fact, the hotel expects to cater to families and long-term guests.  Floors 19, 20 and 21 can each be blocked off so you can takeover the entire level.

While there is high tech like a television in the bathroom mirror, there is also practical with two easily accessible electrical outlets on each side of the bed and double glazed windows for sound resistance.

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The prime location at 61st Street and Park Avenue gives equal access to Madison Avenue’s high end boutiques, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman without forgetting somebody has to make the money.  Midtown’s corporate offices are all within a mile walk.  Being just over the north border of the gridlock zone also means you can get to your private jet at either LaGuardia or Teterboro in 15 to 25 minutes.

Soon to come is The Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa, a 10,000 square foot space including a gym, 32 hair stations and eight spa treatment rooms.  In an ode to the Power Breakfast, the Farel will start serving up “Power Facials” starting at 7am.  Along the same lines a “Power Hour” will include a blowout, manicure and pedicure all within 60 New York minutes.

Now if the Giants can only win another Super Bowl.

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